SW Radio Africa (London)

11 July 2014

Zimbabwe: Judgement Postponed Over Toll Gate Fees Hike

The High court on Friday postponed judgement in the matter where Zimbabwe lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) are challenging the 100 percent hike of tollgate fees, announced by the government this week.

Kumbirai Mafunda, spokesman for the ZLHR, said High court Judge Justice Joseph Mafusire postponed his judgement after hearing submissions from lawyers representing the Zimbabwe National Road and Administration (ZINARA) and the lawyers group.

The ZLHR are seeking to have the unilateral hiking of tollgate fees by Transport Minister Obert Mpofu nullified. ZINARA has already started charging the new toll gate fees.

Motorists in the country will now pay US$2 up from US$1 at the toll gates on the motorways with haulage trucks paying $10, from $5. Kombis will pay $3, from $2 while buses will be required to pay $4, up from $3. The increase is the first since tollgates were introduced five years ago.

The lawyers argue that the fee hike is in breach of Section 68 of the Constitution which demands that the state consults citizens on such issues.

Transport Minister Obert Mpofu says the hike is justified but motorists and transport operators accuse the government of trying to do nothing more than fundraise for the cash-strapped treasury.

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